Some friends took a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth (QE) at Christmas last year and did nothing but complain. Also, I traveled on the QE2, several times before her retirement and quite liked her. So,I didn't expect much from the newest Queen. But, I got a good deal on the web a few weeks before the cruise and decided to book the Los Angeles to Ft Lauderdale leg of the QE's world cruise.
For the on board experience, the QE is pretty closed to the QE2. The public rooms are quite nice and well maintained. There is plenty of deck space and there was never a problem finding a deck chair. It was a pretty old crowd on board and I didn't think the walker and wheel chair crowd took to the tropical heat of the Panama Canal very well. There was even plenty of road on deck while going through the Canal.
I ate most meals in the Britannia Restaurant. Service at dinner, where we had the same waiter, was excellent. Breakfast was a bit more varied. It seemed as if a quite a few of the staff were being trained. Food was quite good. Fish, Spa Menu, and Vegetarian dishes being the best. Some deserts were great, like the souffle and some were weak, like the tart with canned pudding. The lobster was a disappointment, but fortunately I had some great lobster in Nicaragua and Grand Cayman. If you like spicy food, look elsewhere.
I was on board for Passover. A Passover Seder (Dinner) was held in the Lido. Food and service was quite good and the Rabbi was awesome.
My cabin was a cheap inside on Deck 5. It was bigger than expected and was well serviced by the cabin steward. Towels were available for on shore trips to the beach.
The entertainment was actually quite good. Good singers, musicians, and various other entertainers. If you like Big Band music, this is your ship, especially when the two ship bands combine to form a very large band. The casino had a live Texas Holdem poker game most afternoons and evenings. A good poker crowed provided a fun game and some great gossip. Apparently, two people were put off the ship for fighting with the irons in the launderette and 8 people died on the cruise. (I said it was an older crowd).
I include the other passengers as part of the entertainment. Mostly British, American, and Canadian, with quite a few Australians. The world cruise folks were a hoot. They would complain about everything and then discuss which cabin to book for next year. They also provided some great competition at lawn bowls, which I learned how to play on board.
So why a 4 and not a 5? Food was good, but often not great. Service was great, but sometimes not at breakfast and lunch. Facilities, bars, and public area were great, but drink prices were high and they charged for some things that they shouldn't, like using some of the spa facilities and bottled water when leaving the ship. I would cruise on this ship again.